Saturday 30 April 2016

Cadbury's Wunderbar (B&M)

Do you have any silly sayings that you can't help but utter? Mine are often an odd mixture of European languages or random catchphrases that I've picked from from films. I can't remember when 'Wunderbar!' first cropped up in my vocabulary, but it often tumbles out of my mouth (in an awful stern German accent) as a substitute for 'wonderful'. Yes, I'm very strange like that.

Given my oddness -and undying love for chocolate- I was utterly enthralled last week when I discovered that Wunderbar is a real thing, and it's made by Cadbury! It was as if I had found out that Willy Wonka's factory was to become a holiday destination ... now that's a thought.

My excitement peaked when I found the chocolate bar in B&M for just 35p -if that's not fate, I don't know what is! My Dad was bemused by my animation, and offered to buy me one (together with the peanut butter Magnum chocolate bar). He's a gem.

"A magic peanut and caramel cream experience."

Now the packaging looked very similar to that of a Starbar, so I decided to do a bit of digging. Indeed when I googled 'Cadbury's Wunderbar' a wikipedia page popped up, informing me that the Starbar is sold in Germany and Canada under the name Wunderbar. Interesting, because when I researched German Cadbury, the only relevant website told me that they sell Starbars (not Wunderbars). What made matters even more confusing was that this Wunderbar was produced in Ireland!

The ingredients of both bars look near-on identical -except the Wunderbar has a higher percentage of cocoa butter and therefore contains a higher amount of saturated fat. I'm confused. It's all a bit pointless really as I can't even remember the last time I ate a Starbar. Moving on..

At 49g, the Wunderbar is markedly larger than the new peanut butter Magnum chocolate bar (thank goodness). It was rippled on the outside, and cutting into it revealed a mish-mash of layers. The caramel was in abundance: thick and stringy thanks to its storage in my fridge's chocolate compartment.

As a fan of textural contrast, I thought that the wunderbar was a brilliant creation. The chocolate and caramel casing was reminiscent of a Cadbury's Curly Wurly -somehow satisfyingly difficult to chew, but delicious. I found the peanut butter nucleus to be less salty than the innards of Reese's peanut butter cups, but it was equally as nutty and it was further enhanced by the addition of chunky chopped peanuts.

To be completely honest, I missed the saline quality that Reese's offers, and I can't help but think that a better balance of savoury-sweet would have improved the Wunderbar. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy every last chewy, nutty mouthful. Wunderbar it truly was! 


Friday 29 April 2016

Chocolate Brownie Deluxe Ice Creams (ALDI)

I think that ALDI must've hired secret spies who lay among the general population and persuade us to shop at their supermarkets... 

Months ago I mentioned my suspicion about my father's love for the German discount store, and since then I've noticed a whole host of people mentioning ALDI food. Forgive me, I've been researching the concept of whether advertising is manipulation or persuasion, and it's addled my brain. I realise that both ALDI and LIDL are finally getting the recognition they deserve for their low prices and decent quality.

 In any case, this seeimingly inexplicable tangent is due to the fact that these gentle hints and comments led me to finally visit my local store yesterday (thanks again Dad) and pick up these rather scrummy looking ice creams -as well as many of the other products that readers have pointed out to me over the past few months.

"Our luxurious chocolate brownie ice creams are made with chocolate ice cream swirled through with a chocolate truffle sauce. We coat them in a thick layer of rich milk chocolate with a delicious chocolate cookie crumble. A chocolate lover's dream."
And that folks, was me sold. The pack of three cost £1.49, and were in the same range as the salted caramel ice creams (the ones my Instagram followers assumed the M&S ones were).

As you can see, they looked rather impressive. The chocolate coating was thankfully as thick as promised, and the cookie crumble was plentiful. What a great start! 

Cracking into the outer coating, I was delighted to find it was good quality. Don't get me wrong -it wasn't the best tasting milk chocolate I've ever had- but it was certainly a far cry from the likes of Kinnerton chocolate. From what I recall, the M&S chocolate coating was tastier, but the ALDI offering was on a par with what you'd expect from Magnum. The cookie pieces were delicious, adding a gritty texture that worked well with the otherwise smooth coating and ice cream within.

Onto the star of the show: the ice cream. The reason that the description was so compelling was because it claimed that they were a chocolate lover's dream. I could happily eat chocolate from dawn until dusk... and then through the night too... so it's easy to imagine how excited I was to try the ultimate in chocolate ice cream. Except; it was a let down. The chocolate flavour was akin to the brown section of a Neopolitan ice cream tub. The mild, milky taste was not what I was hoping for -and I couldn't help but feel disappointed.

 Surely the 'chocolate truffle sauce' would save the day? Well, no. I couldn't even find it. I could see the lines where the ripples were meant to live, but they were seemingly bare. **Sad face**.

I tried to hide my dismay from my fiance, and asked him what he thought of his chocolate brownie ice cream, but he also thought they were pants and said he wouldn't have them again. I didn't think they were bad -they just didn't live up to my high expectations.


Thursday 28 April 2016

NEW! Magnum Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar (B&M)

Last week I found and reviewed a new chocolate bar from ice cream king Magnum, and I said at the time that I wouldn't be in a hurry to bother tracking one down again. That was until I saw a photo on Instagram of a peanut butter version. 

Now if you've gathered anything about me by now, you'll realise that I am an avid lover* of both peanut butter and chocolate  -so it was hardly a new product that I could miss out on. So keen was I to try this Magnum chocolate bar, that I persuaded my long-suffering father to take me on a special trip to B&M (via ALDI and Home Bargains of course) because I've just had to SORN my trusty** Landrover.

Luckily he avoided a return trip to the bargain Mecca because I found the Double Peanut Butter Magnum priced at 50p (as well as another peanut butter chocolate bar that I'm rather excited about!) AND he bought them both for me, result! Thanks Daddio!

The product description left me scratching my head, utterly baffled:

"Milk chocolate bar with peanuts and a soft filling (56%) containing caramel, peanuts and crispy crepe pieces."
 Am I being stupid here? What the badger are crepe pieces? Surely this chocolate bar doesn't contain flecks of pancake? It does however, contain gluten. 

The packaging also gave Australian Nutrition Information -which I can't imagine differs all that much from UK Nutrition Information-  and informs me the bar is in fact made in Norfolk -weird.

Anyway, I couldn't help but feel slightly put out by the size of the bar. Granted, most of us are convinced that all snacks are shrinking (and most of the time they are, especially the new Magnum this bar is based on) but this seemed ridiculously small. I apologise for the unsightly finger photo, but I just wanted to give you a true indication of its size.

The bar weighs in at 39g: 6g less than the new M&S peanut butter bar (which I also thought was small) 9g less than a Snickers and a whopping 10g less than Cadbury's Starbar. Let's hope the taste made up for its size -after all they say the best things come in small packages!

Once sliced into, all of the components (except for the crepe pieces) became evident. In the centre of the bar was a fudge-like substance studded with peanuts. Surrounding this was a layer of caramel, finally enrobed by a thin layer of chocolate.

The combination of flavours and textures worked well together and the saltiness of the peanuts helped to counteract the sweetness -my main fault with the double chocolate version. If you've ever eaten a Magnum Ice cream, you'll know what to expect from the milk chocolate. As with the double peanut butter Magnum ice cream, the nut flavour wasn't as prominent as I would have liked -but it was still pleasant. The crepe pieces (!) added crunch and sweetness in a honeycomb-like way, and the caramel was pretty standard (although there wasn't enough of it to determine whether it was salted or not). 

The main problem was that after -very- few mouthfuls the bar was gone. 

The new Magnum Double Peanut Butter chocolate bar is much tastier than the sickly Double Chocolate version, but it's far from the best on the market.


*read obsessive
**read leaky, noisy, pain-in-the-bum but I love it.

Wednesday 27 April 2016

NEW! Müllerlight Copacabana: Passionfruit Orange & Lime Yogurt

It's been a while since I last reviewed a Müllerlight yogurt. The last one I wrote about was the divisive peanut & caramel one that I just couldn't get along with. I don't buy them very often but when Richard told me about the new Copacabana edition on Twitter, I was intrigued. Orange, passionfruit and lime isn't a flavour mix that I'd think of when it comes to yogurt, and I have to admit that it didn't sound particularly appealing either.

So why did I buy it? Well, the new Müllerlight kept playing on my mind for some reason, and when I was filling my basket with the 12 for £3 Müller promotion at ASDA I thought of no good reason to resist sampling it.

The yogurt was an insipid pale yellow, flecked with orange bits reminiscent of the zest you might come across in real orange juice. A lovely tropical scent hit my nostrils the moment the lid was peeled however, and I started to feel slightly less dubious about the new Müllerlight.

Well, this new Copacabama yogurt was an unexpected slice of sunshine! Shutting my eyes and ignoring the sound of the hail on the windows, I might be forgiven for thinking I was in sunnier climes. I had wrongly assumed that the citrus flavours would trounce the more delicate passionfruit, and they would be overcome still by the sickly artificial taste of Aspartame. Instead the symphony of tropical fruits were well balanced and rather refreshing. Yummy. 

What a lovely suprise Müller. I might not think that your new Gold corner or Chocolate & Caramel rice pot is up to scratch, but the new Copacabama Müllerlights is the perfect summer yogurt. 

Thank you Richard for bringing it to my attention!


Tuesday 26 April 2016

NEW! Black Forest Muffins and Strawberry & Belgian White Chocolate Cake (ASDA)

It was my other half's Birthday last week, and he purposefully requested ASDA's Extra Special hand Finished Strawberry & Belgian White Chocolate Cake: a pretty looking cake that neither of us had tried before, but both liked the sound of. I popped into my local ASDA on the morning of his birthday (aiming for optimum cake freshness) and secured the very last one in store for a very reasonable £1.50.

Whilst ambling down the bakery aisle I spotted a selection of new cakes, including three new muffins (Eton Mess, Toffee Fudge and Black Forest) and some cupcakes (Cappuccino, Strawberries and Cream and Lemon FYI). I rang my other half and tried to persuade him to opt for the new muffins instead as they sounded so enticing -but he preferred the sound of the white chocolate cake, and of course the Birthday boy's choice came first.

We were both utterly disappointed with the white chocolate cake- extra special it certainly was not. It was extremely dry, and the pitiful smidge of jam in the centre offered little in the way of taste. The buttercream was pretty standard, although neither of us could detect the white chocolate that was meant to flavour it. I certainly wouldn't buy it again, especially not at the full price (£2.65). 


Feeling hard done by, I decided to prove to myself (and the fiance) just how much of a better decision it would've been to opt for the new muffins instead. Tempted by all three flavours, I -of course- chose the chocolate flavour, Black Forest (£1 for 2 muffins).

Back when I reviewed the special K black forest moments, I mentioned just how much I love the combination of chocolate and cherry and feel that it's an underappreciated flavour pairing. Needless to say that I was therefore excited to try my first black forest cake in many years, especially as I find ASDA makes the best supermarket bakery muffins.

"2 Cherry flavoured muffins with a sour cherry filling, topped with chocolate drops."
Cherry flavoured muffins? Really? They looked like chocolate cake to me. There were plenty of chocolate chips on display and the red coloured jam was eagerly oozing out, enticing me in to a delicious looking teatime treat.

I sliced the muffin in half (for photographic purposes) and was pleased to find a seemingly generous dollop of jam running down the centre. I picked off a couple of rogue chocolate drops, and whilst they weren't premium quality, they were comfortingly scrummy. So far, so good ASDA.

They say you should never judge a book by it's cover, and that certainly seems to be the case with ASDA's newer cakes. They seem to have opted for the style-over-substance route (which M&S used to be guilty of a lot of the time) and I can't help but think it's a shame.

The 'black forest' muffin was extremely dry, and didn't really taste of chocolate or cherry. Remember my bad experience with Boot's red velvet cake? Well this was very similar. Surely it would have been better for ASDA to make a decadent chocolate cake studded with whole (un-pitted!) cherries and swirled with jam? Talking of which, the saucy centre was the best bit -and you never want the jam in a cake to be the highlight, do you?

I decided to warm the second half in the microwave, vastly improving the texture of the muffin. Admittedly it became a sticky mess to eat, but the chocolate drops had melted, bleeding some much needed moisture into the sponge cake. If I ever bought these again (say they're reduced to 10p at the end of the day) I'd definitely serve them warm with vanilla ice cream.


Monday 25 April 2016

NEW Chocolate & Caramel Müller Rice (ASDA)

It's new Müller Rice time! This spring the company has relaunched two retired flavours (smooth chocolate and salted caramel) and released one entirely new flavour -which happened to be a combination of both old/new flavours- chocolate and caramel.

It's no secret how much I love that very flavour pairing, indeed it's obvious from my plethora of chocolate & caramel reviews (most recently M&S' new salted caramel and Belgian milk chocolate ice creams) so I don't need to tell you how excited I was to try this new Müller Rice.

As with the new Gold Müller Corners, the new rice pudding has Olympic themed packaging and has been named the 'Going The Distance Edition'. The title seems rather apt considering each pot contains over 25g of sugar and would therefore be likely to put the children on the ceiling for a few hours!

I'm not sure why I decided to warm the Müller Rice, as I normally like mine super cold -to the point where they're starting to freeze- but I figured that most people enjoy them warm so decided to join the crowd. I whacked it on high in the microwave until it started to bubble and the scent of sweet chocolate permeated the room -a good indication as to how yummy the dessert would surely be!

The creamy rice was as delicious as always; milky-sweet and comforting. The chocolate and caramel came from the pool of sauce at the bottom, which I gave a good mix into the rice above. 

Did you ever have Ambrosia rice topped with Lyle's ice cream sauces as a child? Well that's what this reminded me of. The caramel flavour was sickly sweet and lacked any thickness or depth of flavour, whilst the chocolate was overpowered and lost altogether. It's a shame really because it smelt so promising, but the dessert just tasted like the thinly-veiled sugar rush that it truly was. 

Maybe my dislike came from the temperature of the pud -it may well be one best served cold. Fortunately I bought another (all Müller singles are 12 for £3 in ASDA at the moment FYI) so I will update this post as and when I've braved it again. Have you tried the new Müller Rice? What do you think?


Sunday 24 April 2016

NEW! Magnum Double Chocolate Bar (B&M)

Even on holiday, my long suffering fiance can't escape my excitement when spotting a B&M bargains. Our Hotel in Rhyl was only a few doors down from the high street, at the end of which was a number of discount stores, including my beloved B&M. Of course I couldn't help but pop in on the off-chance that they might have some different stock to my two most local branches.

Most of the products were the same, but I did come across a chocolate bar that I've never spotted before: Magnum Double Chocolate -priced at just 50p. I've never bought any of Magnum's chocolate before, although Kev has written about a number of their bars (check out a review of the new chocolate and almond truffle bar here).

"With layers of Magnum chocolate and an indulgent chocolate filling".

First off, please accept my apologies for the lack of in-depth information about this bar. I have two rather pitiful excuses: 
  1. I forgot to keep the wrapper.
  2. I had drunk two large glasses of wine before munching it
I did read the wrapper before I munched it, and recall that it was supposed to contain milk and dark chocolate, with a crunchy filling... It was also quite small at only 37g... but that's about all my memory served me! 

Thankfully my taste-bud recollection is better than my visual memory...

The chocolate coating was darker than your normal British milk chocolate, but no different to the coating of a Magnum ice cream -and taste-wise it was very similar. There was a darker layer of chocolate underneath the top coat, and whilst it was richer, it was far from bitter -and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The core of the bar contained a truffle studded with crunchy bits. The textural contrast was well thought out, but the flavour less so. The crunchy bits tasted like honeycomb, and the truffle was very sweet too, which when combined with the two chocolate coatings resulted in a very sickly bar.

The Magnum double chocolate bar satisfied my chocolate cravings, but also made me want to brush my teeth. There was just too much going on for me, and I can't say I'll be in a rush to track one down again.


Saturday 23 April 2016

NEW! Belgian Milk Chocolate & Salted Caramel Ice Creams (M&S)

Salted caramel: the trend that hasn't lost momentum. Not that I'm complaining of course, I love the stuff. Embarrassingly, my infatuation is so severe that I ended up in a heated debate with my Advertising lecturer yesterday about whether it's the work of the devil or if it's heaven sent.

I must represent the majority of the British public because M&S have utilised caramel (and versions thereof) in many of their new products: including the banana & Dulce de Leche slices I reviewed earlier this week, salted caramel & custard slices, and three different Dulce de Leche cheesecakes, to name just a few. That's a lot of sugar!

I haven't had a great experience with Marks & Sparks' ice cream in the past. Last year I reviewed their chocolate and honeycomb cones, and was left bitterly disappointed by their lustreless. I thought it might be high time to give M&S a second chance, particularly seeing as they've recently vastly upgraded their chocolate -and these new salted caramel ice creams are currently 25% off.

The offer pack costs £2.20 for three 100ml ice creams.

"Salted caramel dairy ice cream with a salted caramel sauce (9%) coated in Belgian milk chocolate (30%) with crisp caramel peices (4.5%)."
As you can see, the chocolate coating was so generous that it covered a third of the stick as well. Good start M&S!

Oh my days the chocolate was good, it was thick and luxurious and tasted divine. The caramel pieces studding the coating were in abundance and offered a good crunch to the otherwise silken chocolate. Of course this wasn't much good if the ice cream itself wasn't tasty, but wowzer, it was bloody good! It was soft straight from the freezer with a wonderfully rich caramel flavour backed up with just the right amount of saltiness. Hands down it was the best caramel ice cream I have ever tasted... FAR nicer than Magnums.

I'll happily pay the £2.20 for another box, Hell I think I'd even pay the full (non offer) price, and that really is saying something. Interestingly when I posted a photo of these desserts on Instagram, there were a few comments suggesting that they look very similar to the salted caramel ice creams from ALDI. I haven't been to ALDI in ages so can't compare -but if you've tried both I'd be keen to hear your verdict as to whether there is any difference in taste!


*Don't ask how we got onto that topic, I can't remember!

Friday 22 April 2016

NEW! Cadbury Jaffantastic Layers Of Joy (Tesco)

Yay! At long last the 'Eggciting' Layers Of Joy have disappeared from the shops. I'm so pleased to finally see the back of them, although I still haven't seen the return of the Caramellionaire versions. I'm wondering if this new edition to the range is replacing both? I hope not!

Either way, the new Jaffantastic desserts have to be better than the horribly sickly Easter version. As a lover of Jaffa Cakes, I liked the sound of these new puds and hotfooted it down to Tesco pretty promptly after seeing them pop up on Instagram.

The pack of two cost £1.20, and isn't suitable for vegetarians.

"Delicious layers of Cadbury milk chocolate mousse, zingy orange jelly and sponge topped with Cadbury milk chocolate mousse."
I have to admit that the description didn't excite me as much as my initial idea of a Jaffa Cake inspired dessert did -and I really hoped that the sponge would be more palatable than the dry disc in the 'Eggciting' version. Fingers crossed.

The mousse was as velvety and as chocolatey as expected, a light mouthful of bubbly cocoa heaven. I wasn't looking forward to the orange layer underneath -but it was crazy good! More like a thick orange sauce than solid jelly, it offered the right proportion of sweet and tartness. tantalising my tastebuds with a bold citrussy flavour. The liquidity of it meant that it was easy to have a mouthful of all three elements together for that true jaffa cake experience.

More praise for Cadbury's as they have done well with the cake in the centre, it was lovely and moist, and in fact more soft than what you'd find in a jaffa cake, but it was delicious.  

I was thankful for the extra chocolate layer on the bottom, it meant that the dessert was well balanced, and was the perfect ending to this wonderful new dessert. Jaffantastic they certainly are! 


Thursday 21 April 2016

NEW! Gold Edition Müller Corner (Tesco)

It's been a while since I last reviewed a Müller corner, and the last one was rather special. I always look forward to the company's regular releases, so I was pleased to discover their latest selection of gold, Olympic themed yogurts. There are two flavours available in a multi-pack (which Katherine from Grocery Gems reviewed last month) and one single serve pot:

"Toffee shortbread flavour yogurt with milk chocolate coated & decorated digestives."

Toffee has to be one of my favourite yogurt flavours, so I was looking forward to trying this new addition to Müller's range. 

I was shocked to see how few gold digestive balls there were when I pulled back the lid. It's been a while since I last had a crunch corner, but I'm sure that they're usually more full than this? With no exaggeration the partition was less than 1/2 full -how disappointing Müller.

The yogurt tasted rather odd. I don't buy Müller Lights very often because I'm not keen on the gelatinous texture or artificial taste, and it's something I've never experienced that with their full-fat range before. The jelly-like consistency was off-putting, but the taste didn't pull it back either. Sure there was a strong toffee flavour, but it was followed by an unusual synthentic sweetener aftertaste that ruined the yogurt. What have you done Müller?

The saving grace came from the meagre supply of chocolate digestive balls. They looked rather stunning with their golden dusting, which was very similar to the coating of Galaxy's golden eggs. Thankfully they were crunchy with a well-rounded biscuit flavour, and would have much rather a pot of them on their own -without the distasteful yogurt.

As you may have gathered, I'm really not a fan of the new Gold Edition Müller Corner, and won't be buying it again. Have you tried it yet? What do you think?


Wednesday 20 April 2016

NEW! Banana & Dulce De Leche Slices (M&S) *As seen on TV*

Do you remember me telling you that M&S'  have just started selling some exciting new products as part of their 'Spirit of Summer' range? The packaging of the Banana & Dulce De Leche slices pulled me in, partly because of their title, partly because of their brightly coloured box, but mainly because they currently advertise a 'save 25%' banner. At £2.66 they are still rather dear but it's Marks and Sparks, what else should I expect? I thought I'd take the opportunity to try them before they increase in price, because lets be honest: a banana mousse, vanilla mousse, dulche de leche, and brown sugar cookie dough dessert sounds rather delicious!

The title on the front doesn't give a true indication as to just how many components are in M&S' new Banana & Dulce de Leche slices. The product description informed me that they are in fact:
"Cinnamon flavoured biscuit base topped with Dulche de Leche caramel, banana mousse, chocolate sponge soaked with banana liqueur and rum, dark chocolate and vanilla flavoured mousse with a decorative glaze finish." 
Uh oh. Alarm bells started to ring because (unlike me) my other half hates rum and isn't keen on cinnamon, so I thought he'd take one bite and refuse the rest of his expensive dessert. I thought I'd just not tell him and find out...

The desserts looked absolutely beautiful, and whilst they were rather fiddly to get out of their case, they retained their shape and distinct layers. 

The top layer consisted of the vanilla mousse and glaze, and I have to admit that it was rather nondescript. It lacked any punchy flavour, and the texture was gelatinous -reminding me of the dodgy desserts you might find on an all inclusive holiday abroad. Not good.

Next up was the chocolate components. The dark chocolate came in the form of a single, thin layer, which had retained the crispness of tempered chocolate -simply delicious. The sponge was also very thin, and had a strong chocolate flavour with the faintest hint of rum, and no banana liqueur. The alcohol was so mild that my fiance couldn't taste it (thankfully) and I'm not sure I would have if I hadn't read the product name beforehand. It was tasty, but because it was so meagre it didn't offer much to the dessert. So far, so disappointing. 

On to the star of the show: the banana mousse and Dulce de Leche layer. Now we're talking! The banana mousse was simply divine. It packed a strong natural, fruity flavour that was seriously moreish. Studding the mousse were pockets of rich caramel, and the pairing was expectantly perfect together. My only complaint was that I could've done with more of the Dulce de Leche, so would've preferred there to have been a whole layer of the gooey yumminess.

The cookie dough base is not to be overlooked. It was very cinnamon-y which meant that I loved it but my other half hated it. If you've ever baked cinnamon cookies and munched on the cookie dough scrapings you'll have an indication of what the bottom of the dessert tastes like. It wasn't soft but it wasn't crisp either, my idea of heaven.

The new Banana & Dulce De Leche slices from M&S are a bit of an oddity. The top half didn't do much for me, but the bottom half was scrumptious. I think that M&S have tried to amalgamate too many ideas into one product, and that the banana & caramel layer would've been better off topped with a simple chocolate ganache. I also believe that the product description is also a bit misleading because if you're not a cinnamon lover, it's likely that you won't like these desserts. 

Will I buy them again? Probably not, but I have got my beady eyes on Sparks' new Banana liqueur and Dulce de Leche cheesecake...


Tuesday 19 April 2016

NEW! Aero Mousse Caramel

I've been searching for the new Aero Mousse caramel edition everywhere since it was supposedly launched on 15th February, but as always Hereford has been slow on the catch up. What made the wait even more difficult is that I'd read great feedback from people (including Kev) who had managed to get their hands on them. I finally stumbled across them this week in my local corner shop, but I've since seen them in Morrisons.

I've only recently tried the standard Aero Mousse bars and I have to admit that I was completely unimpressed by them. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of Nestle chocolate, and I didn't really get the point of the Aero Mousse -to me it was indifferent to their standard bubbly bar. I hoped that the addition of the caramel layer would make the bar stand out.

The chocolate bar consisted of 8 domed segments, and once the bars were broken, both layers were easily distinguishable. 

The bottom layer was Nestle's normal bubbly Aero bar: kind of chalky in terms of flavour, but tasting better than I remember. The caramel layer on top however was something rather special, it was buttery and the taste reminded me of the iconic caramac bar. I'm not sure I would have described it as particularly moussey, it was so texturally similar to the normal aero texture, but it tasted heavenly. My only issue was that some segments contained more caramel than others, and I think the bar would work even better by a higher ratio of caramel:chocolate. 

The new Aero Mousse Caramel is a far superior bar to the original, and definitely worth trying. I'm already looking forward to my next fix, and it's not very often at all that I crave Nestle chocolate! 


Monday 18 April 2016

NEW! Toffee Apple Cone Sensations (Iceland)

Seeing as the rhubarb and custard ice creams were so tasty, I thought I'd better try Iceland's new Toffee Apple Cone Sensations too.

"Crispy wafer cones with a chocolate flavour coating, filled with apple flavour ice cream and a toffee flavour sauce decorated with toffee flavour fudge pieces."
It seems an odd time of  year to release toffee apple ice creams, as the flavour tends to be connected with bonfire night -but who says you can't enjoy them all year round?

As with the rhubarb and custards, these new cones from Iceland looked rather appetising. Adorning the creamy coloured ice cream was a plentitude of fudge pieces and toffee sauce.

The fudge pieces were so soft that they melted in the mouth,- which was lovely- but meant that they were difficult to taste. The toffee sauce was rich and sweet, but nothing special and certainly not the nicest I've tasted (Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra and Morrisons' Millionaires Shortbread Mash Up hold the top spots).

On to the apple ice cream. I can't remember having tasted an apple ice cream before, it's certainly an unusual flavour choice by Iceland. It was ok, a bit odd and slightly artificial tasting despite promising to contain 5%  of reconstituted apple puree. It was sweet and creamy and was enhanced by the toffee sauce core, but it just doesn't seem to work on its own.

The new Toffee Apple Cone Sensations from Iceland are a welcome novelty to the 2016 ice cream market. They are inexpensive (£1 for 4) and I imagine that children would love them. I wasn't particularly keen on them, much preferring the rhubarb flavour, so they probably wont make it into my freezer again.


Sunday 17 April 2016

NEW! Rhubarb Jumbles (ASDA)

This is certainly rhubarb week! But you'll have to forgive me because I finally found the Rhubarb Jumbles, the last pack on the shelf at the ASDA near my uni. I almost left them there as they would have to suffer an hour long journey back home, but seeing as I'd been checking my local store every day for the past week with no luck, I had to buy them.

"Astonishing! Tangy rhubarb compote, velvety mousse and crumbly flapjack... all in a pot? Why ever not!"
What I hadn't appreciated is that as well as mousse, compote, and flapjack, the pots also contain a layer of cheesecake batter. I mean, why on earth would you not shout about cheesecake batter? That's got to be the best bit hasn't it? Well, actually all four layers sounded pretty damn perfect to me...

Adorning the Rhubarb Jumble was a couple of flapjack pieces. I've mentioned before that recently I've fallen in love with the stuff, so I was pleased to find that it was in plentiful supply. The flapjack was lighter than expected -more crumbly than sticky, but yummy all the same.

The creamy coloured top layer was light, fluffy, and had an unexpected tang to it, which I rather enjoyed. The cheesecake batter was a cracking start to the Rhubarb Jumbles. Next up was a flapjack layer, offering an excellent textural contrast against the moussey top and fruit below. Again they came as chunks rather than a disk, and the flavours mingled well together. 

The rhubarb was sweeter than expected, but still kept some degree of sharpness. I was pleased to find that it wasn't jam-like in consistency, and retained some (albeit very soft) structural integrity. 

At the very bottom was another airy layer. It wasn't particularly strong in flavour, tasting more like whipped cream. The mousse was pleasant, but far from exceptional, and I can't help but think that the Rhubarb Jumbles would have been better finishing with the cheesecake batter.

If you're a rhubarb and custard fan, give ASDA's new rhubarb jumbles a go -especially while they're on offer (£1.50 for two). If not, then try their new Afternoon Tea Delights, which are equally as tasty.


Saturday 16 April 2016

NEW! Rhubarb & Custard Cone Sensations (Iceland)

I may never forgive Iceland for discontinuing their fabulous peanut and banana ice cream cones of 2015. If you didn't try them, shame on you. They were wonderful, especially as banana ice cream is oddly a rarity. I had been eagerly awaiting Iceland's summer stock, hoping that once again I'd get my hands on their peanut and banana cones, but alas! they've not returned. The frozen food specialist has fortunately dampened the blow however with some rather scrummy looking new lines such as their new banoffee flavoured Majestics (fake magnums between you and I).

Iceland have also launched three new ice cream cones: 'Toffee Apple', 'Coconut Dream' and 'Rhubarb & Custard'. I adore rhubarb so they were the first in my basket! At £1 for a pack of four they're a veritable bargain, especially as they're much larger than cornettos (110ml compared to 90ml).

"Crispy wafer cones with a chocolate flavour coating, filled with rhubarb and custard flavour ice creams and a rhubarb flavour sauce, decorated with pink sugar crystal pieces."

It must be said that the packaging design is truly hideous, yet the cones themselves were things of beauty. The sugar crystals added an ethereal quality, whilst the princess pink and white coloured ice creams were rather pretty.

The crystals tasted like crushed up rhubarb & custard sweets, a theme that was set to continue throughout. 

The ice cream was soft and creamy, rather like whipped ice cream, with a true nostalgic flavour. It was hard to distinguish between the rhubarb and the custard flavours but the combination tasted just like the sweets. I imagined that the rhubarb flavour would be slightly tart in order to offset the sweetness, but it wasn't -and I didn't mind one bit. 

A punchy zing came from the rhubarb sauce which ran all the way down the centre of the cone. It was jammy and harmonised well with the ice cream.

Thankfully the waffles had retained their crispness -there's nothing worse than a limp cone after all- and of course they contained that little treasure at the end -the nib of dark chocolate. 

If you'd have told me that my favourite British classic sweet would work as an ice cream, I'm not sure I'd have believed you, however Iceland have somehow worked their wizardry and pulled it off! 


Friday 15 April 2016

NEW! Twix Tops (Poundstretcher)

Do you remember Twix Tops? Chances are that if you don't, you either weren't born/were very young when they were around or you've forgotten them in their 11 year absence. According to the font of all knowledge -Wikipedia- they had a relatively short stay in the UK between 1999 and 2005 and have only been available on the continent since them. A photo on Instagram recently showed them in the UK, and I felt the nostalgic need to hunt them down.

I remember thinking that they were pretty great as a teenager, and so I was excited to try them again as an adult. I bought them from poundstretcher for £1 proudly displaying the 'new' badge, but as I can't read Arabic I'm unsure as to where they originated. 

The pack contained 10 individually wrapped biscuits. They were smaller than I remember, but isn't that always the case? I wasn't too bothered, because at 10p each they still represented seemingly good value for money. 

They looked the same as I remembered -apart from the size- but would they taste as good? 

The simple answer is no. The biscuit was plain and lacked the buttery, crumbly texture that is characteristic of a Twix (I should know, I had the white chocolate version only yesterday!). The chocolate barely covered the caramel topping, and was so thin that I could barely taste it. Caramel, surely you can save the day? Sadly not, again it was in such meagre amounts that it was just disappointing. 

The proportions are all wrong in the Twix Tops and now I can understand why they went AWOL in the first place. If you want a mostly biscuit bar with chocolate and caramel then stick with a rocky -these aren't worth the look in. 


Thursday 14 April 2016

NEW! Dark Chocolate & Mango Jaffa Cakes (M&S)

Have you visited a Marks & Spencer food hall in the past week or so? You really should, it's pretty wow. I can't believe that one company can launch so many new lines such a short space of time! The sun might not be blazing where you are (it's not here at least!) but summer has well and truly arrived in M&S. You can't miss their new 'Spirit of Summer' range in their brightly coloured packaging, and there's some truly scrummy looking products to be found. I can't even begin to tell you about all of the temptations I've spotted, but a glance at Kev's Instagram feed will give you a pretty good idea. 

M&S have created some pretty wacky lines this year, but I was enticed by the sound of their new Dark Chocolate & Mango Jaffa Cakes, and at £1 they're not too expensive either. I love a good Jaffa Cake, and I have to admit that I believe Marks & Sparks make the very best. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of love for McVities' version, but the dark chocolate covering on M&S' makes them extra special.

On a side note, do you remember Pim's white chocolate and cherry 'jaffa' cakes? I loved them as a child, but no-one seems to to recollect them. Anyway...

The box contained 13 rectangular cakes. and as soon as I unwrapped them from their cellophane I was bowled over by their strong tropical aroma. If the smell was anything to go by, the flavour was going to knock my socks off. 

The bottom was soft, and whilst it wasn't particularly exciting, it was a decent sponge all the same. The chocolate was at the milder end of the dark spectrum, meaning that I could enjoy it (you might already know that I'm a dark chocolate wimp). My only complaint is that it was a very thin coating, making it difficult to peel from the orange-coloured centre. Please tell me I'm not the only one who laboriously pares the chocolate off, before eating the jelly separately? 

The centre was wonderful; it was sweet yet sharp, the perfect contrast against the plain sponge and dark chocolate. The mango was the most prominent flavour, but there were hints of orange in the background, resulting in a tang that danced on my tastebuds. All of the three layers worked in harmony together, and whilst I'm not sure that it beats M&S' original (or indeed Pim's) its a lovely summery new addition. I can't wait to try some of their other new products soon!